Football Body Soul and Spirit

in Sport Insight

My story at the Lynx is that of the one-club-man, which is not so frequent these days. I´m arguably the first coach to ever sit on the club bench back in 2008, as the first coach, (and current, Albert) was also a player at the time.

Those were really good times, we ascended to first division twice, in a time where there was still no money in football. In the meantime I never stopped coaching teams from U7 to U17 for around 12 years.  I did my coaching training with the Welsh and FA federations.  With the entry into UEFA and also having commitments as an Evangelical Pastor, I was not able to have the dedication being a coach required, but I developed other functions within the club, where today,  I am vice president.

Today we live in times of uncertainty, where so many people are experiencing loneliness, and where we can read daily figures, estimates, information and conspiracy theories, which only bring more anxiety and despair.

The situation can be depressing, if we spend the day in front of the TV counting contagions and deaths, but it’s also a season where we can find time to think about the amount of things that usually occupy our lives, and that are not really indispensable.

Also this lockdown has highlighted important values in our society, like the value of the silent worker, those who have the lowest wages, cleaners, cashiers, care workers- the ones that make things happen, while the important executives are waiting for everything to happen at home with their laptop.

One of David’s psalms says “even if I walk in valleys of shadows of death, I will fear no evil, for You will be with me, your rod, and your staff will give me breath.” It´s this lack of fear and encouragement that we have to share with our loved ones during these times.  It´s this peace in the storm that makes us grow as people.

There are recommendations for our body, usually to keep us as active as possible, to take advantage of exercise that´s allowed, always within the sanitary precautions that have been repeated so many times, social distance, masks and cleaning.

There are recommendations for our Soul, and just as there are healthy foods for our bodies, there are also healthy foods for our souls, thoughts that enter our minds and do us good, and others that do us wrong; relationships that do us good, and others that make us sick, emotions and memories that make us happy, and others not so much. We need to choose with which to feed our souls with.

Finally we have recommendations for the Spirit, and here in this not-so-well-traveled place of our being, we also make decisions.

The reality is that all of our life revolves around decisions, big and small, and even not deciding, is a decision in itself. I decided to be British, I decided to live in Gibraltar, I decided to have this car, this bike, etc., and so I also decided to be a Christian, that means to be a follower in the footsteps of Jesus. Making decisions is what makes us free.

Jesus did not say, “You will know the truth and enter into a religious system ,” nor did he say “you will know the truth and you can do nothing of what you like”, he said “you will know the truth, and the truth will set  you free”, and what is freedom but making choices , and  accepting the consequences of said choices?

I do not come from a religious family and I was never taken to any religious institution of any religion, but when I had enough understanding, I made a decision. I decided to follow Jesus, because it’s revolutionary, because He revolutionized my way of understanding the World, my way of understanding people and my way of understanding God.

Jesus was a Jew who overcame all the cultural barriers of humanity, because He does not speak of a book of laws, He does not speak of a system of customs, or beliefs of religious rituals, Jesus spoke and taught about what is in the heart of Man, he walked among the poor and the marginalized where the religious did not want to enter. He healed lepers  who the religious did not want to touch. He ate and drank with the people, understood their problems.   Healed them and He spoke of a kingdom where there are no politicians or priests, where there is no more pain or famine or war, where love reigns supreme.  He healed their illnesses but above all He healed their heart. 

The world is full of reasoning and philosophies, of scientists and mystics, but you have to make a decision, and even doing nothing,  is a decision, I have decided to follow Jesus and he has set me free.

As a football coach I have understood the importance of a healthy body, and as an Evangelical Pastor, I have also understood the importance of a healthy soul and spirit.  In these times of lockdown and anxiety, these last two facets of being human have been my field of work during 2020, and I have witnessed the benefits in a word of encouragement through an online connection.  That’s why I encourage everyone to connect, call and relate in a positive way, transmit hope rather than worries, sharing encouragement rather than complaints, and always remembering, as the saying goes, that the world will change with your example, not with your opinion.

For further information, please contact the club on lynxfc@mail.com or 200 69695.

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